What's the one thing Blizzard would have done differently in Cataclysm?
We would have worked the story around a continent rather than having zones. There was too much teleporting, and the sense of world was eroded. There was a lot of value in coming over the hill and seeing into the next zone, the transition. The teleporting created an instanced feel, and there wasn't the novelty. Mists has a whole new continent to explore, so that's something Blizzard have changed up for this expansion.
Why did Blizzard go with Cross-Realm zones over server merges?
Cross-Realm Zones were designed to fix the issue of having a ton of players at max-level, but lower level zones being dead. The experience of being in a MMO is lessened, so we wanted to fix that.
Closing and opening realms all the time is not the solution, we can't keep doing that incessantly. We also don't want 20,000 players running around Stormwind or other high-level zones! For players who like deserted zones, we're not really catering to that. WoW is not set up to be a single player game!
Cross-Realm Auction houses aren't set up yet, and Blizzard feel that it could well destroy the Auction House market, as people get to know their own markets. Zones are merged dynamically, which would make it more difficult. However, for chronically low-population realms, this could well be an option.
What's your take on the Theramore event?
We did not do a great job on messaging. Players expected an event -- but what we were really doing is giving players a preview of scenarios, there are a ton of scenarios coming in Mists of Pandaria. It's saying "this is what scenarios are like", they're a new feature, a way to do content quickly, in a your lunch break, to get some more valor or gear.
I think players who understand that it's a scenario preview are enjoying Theramore, while those expecting a world event aren't. Players expecting a huge challenge aren't going to find it in scenarios, challenge modes are more for those players.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!